The New York Islanders win or lose as a team.
For this team to have success, it takes the entire roster to contribute.
The long preseason that will run fifty games will continue without John Tavares, the players here will have to provide a short term alternative.
Last time a player needed a surgery, and was pronounced likely ready for camp his name was Rick DiPietro.
Trent Hunter never fully recovered from his 2003-04 injury.
We'll know if John Tavares can play (at full strength) by next fall, not before.
To speculate beyond that is worthless.
As for Garth Snow the general manager, I respect his frustration, however as the representative of the owners they did not want NHL players participating in the Olympics but gave this to the players as part of the CBA agreement so Snow has to live with the Board of Governors decision. As a general manager he also is in the hypocritical position of defending his players when they are not chosen to represent their country (Okposo) so it works both ways.
John Tavares had the right to play in the Olympics, this could have happened at the World Championships or many places he trains/practices outside the New York Islanders.
It's an awful break for a franchise that has had horrible luck, but if the core of this team is a winning one moving forward they will have to learn how to win without Tavares (and Frans Nielsen) for now as more players will likely be departing come the trade deadline.